The Career Counselor (CC) works closely with TANF recipients that are participating in the New Hampshire Employment Program (NHEP), a collaboration between Southern NH Services (SNHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The Career Counselor helps program participants develop realistic goals and troubleshoot any challenges they encounter. The Career Counselor helps participants make informed decisions and provides them with up-to-date information about the local labor market, occupational skills training opportunities, and various supportive services that are available. Additionally, the Career Counselor will provide job search assistance, job readiness instruction, and embedded training through group and individualized instruction using traditional and technology-based tools, as well as additional employment-focused services leading to successful employment outcomes and retention. The Career Counselor will conduct a series of skills assessment and develop an Employability Plan, which will serve as an action plan that will result in successful outcomes. Work with participants to explore vocational skills training opportunities that lead to credentials, which increase employability and earning potential. The Career Counselor will work in tandem with NHEP Job Developers (JD) to develop and facilitate Work-Based Internships, On-the-Job Training (OJT), and Apprenticeship opportunities for TANF public assistance recipients.
Works under the direct supervision of the Local SNHS NHEP Field Support Manager.
SUPERVISION Exercised: None
- Delivers group and one-on-one employment counseling to NHEP participants and conducts presentations at orientation sessions to inform NHEP participants of program benefits and responsibilities;
- Provides NHEP services with a high degree of respect for participants, sensitivity to their circumstances, and in a manner that builds self-esteem and motivation.
- Maintains the confidentiality of clients and staff in accordance with NHEP and SNHS policy and procedure.
- Exercises reasonable judgment and appropriately applies NHEP policies and procedures to maximize services to participants.
- Achieves a minimum TANF Work Participation Rate of 50% at the end of each month, though 55% is the expected performance goal.
- Interviews, assesses, and evaluates individual aptitudes, interests, abilities, work experiences, education, personality characteristics, and degrees of physical, social, or emotional limitations of NHEP participants to identify individual service needs, strengths, and barriers.
- Develops and implements an Employability Plan with each NHEP participant and provides subsequent coaching to resolve challenges to successful employment.
- Applies policies and procedures on the NHEP program as outlined in the Precision Case Management - Field Worker’s Guide, training guides, policy releases, BES Family Assistance Manual and clarifying memos;
- Authorizes and monitors expenditures of funds for appropriate training and support services that meet the needs of NHEP clients.
- Develops and maintains relationships with employers, service providers, educational institutions and community organizations to coordinate services to participants, develop employment opportunities, maximize available resources and promote community understanding.
- Willingness to work creatively with participants to meet their needs and help them resolve challenges to employment.
- Ability to motivate and energize individuals to work towards employment goals.
- Ability to evaluate personal characteristics, physical capabilities, education, work background, abilities and interests of clients.
- Ability to actively engage local employers & community-based organizations in providing work opportunities for adult job seekers.
- Works with participants to resolve work and program participation issues. Determines individual compliance with NHEP program requirements and, if warranted, imposes sanctions resulting in the reduction of TANF benefits.
- Documents and maintains timely, accurate case notes and individual case records using New Heights and/or other automated case management system to track individual progress and comply with state and federal regulations and policies.
- Works collaboratively with other team members in the delivery of employment, training, education, job preparation, barrier resolution and support services while supporting the goals, objectives and team concept of NHEP.
- Functions as the Job Training & Career Specialist on the NHEP team and develops detailed knowledge of local labor market information, occupational demand, and appropriate training providers, and education programs in the Team’s local market area.
- Serves as the primary link & facilitator between the local NHEP Team and the local Community Action Program (CAP) services and staff in the service area.
- Is knowledgeable about eligibility requirements for other SNHS or Community Action Agency workforce development programs such as the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program as well as other key SNHS and local CAP programs including Fuel Assistance, Head Start, and WIC. Responsible for completing required program referral and application materials (e.g., Fuel Assistance), conducting and/or assisting in needs assessment, cooperating in the WIOA or NHEP Employment Plan process, and completing all other related program processes and paperwork
- Responsible for meeting all SNHS performance and customer satisfaction standards as they relate to the NHEP customers.
- Attends statewide meetings and staff training sessions as requested by the Bureau of Employment Supports (BES).
- Abides with all SNHS & DHHS Safety policies and procedures.
- Presents a professional and positive image as a representative of SNHS at all times.
- Performs all other duties as required by appropriate DHHS and SNHS supervisors.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor's degree from an approved college or university with a major study in social work, psychology, education, human services, sociology, counseling, behavioral science or a related field. One (1) year of experience as an ECS Trainee or in social work, counseling, family services, education, staff training, employee development, employment counseling, recruitment, or human resources.
OPTIONAL CONSIDERATION: Associate's degree from an approved college or university with a major study in social work, psychology, education, human services, sociology, counseling, behavioral science or a related field. Three (3) years’ experience in, social work, counseling, family services, education, staff training, workforce development, employment counseling, recruitment, or human resources or a combination of education and experience that demonstrates an ability to fulfill the duties of a Career Counselor.
LICENSE: Possession of a valid New Hampshire driver's license and/or have access to transportation for statewide travel. Willingness to travel to/from DHHS District Offices for coverage assignments as required.
ADDITIONAL SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE & ABILITIES: Ability to work as a team member with co-workers. Ability to learn & apply TANF and NHEP procedures, rules and regulations in appropriate circumstances. Ability to assess personal characteristics, physical capacities, education, work background, abilities and interests of participants. Knowledge of the principles and methods of assessment and person-centered counseling. Knowledge of psychological and environmental problems arising in connection with case work. Strong working knowledge of the Whole Family Approach philosophy; ability to demonstrate an understanding/experience of working with low-income populations. Knowledge of the educational and social service agencies available in the geographic area. Knowledge of local demand occupations and key industries in the area. Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with low-income participants, employers, public and private community agency staff, co-workers, and the general public. Knowledge of basic computer programs such as e-mail and word-processing.
Southern New Hampshire Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer